Alex- Kinda sorta but I’m wary of a Utopian approach. I have read a lot of Utopian science fiction. It’s… boring… and preachy. Somebody comes to the Utopian world, and there is one or more people who inform them about the perfections of this world, and every time the visitor says something about our world the Utopian reacts with horror and describes some other perfect thing.
Second reason: I have a friend who is an atheist and a Socialist – I am neither, but this is not the problem. He was ranting about how bad religion is, and I finally figured out my reason for not liking such approaches, even when I mostly agree. Yes, religion has been responsible for atrocities. Yes, Socialism has been responsible for atrocities. Yes, Capitalism has been responsible for atrocities. But literally EVERY SINGLE ONE of these systems was proposed as an ideal. So what is the problem?
The point in common with all these systems is that they are MADE UP OF PEOPLE. It is not the systems that are killing us – it is the people. We are the problem. And unless and until we become different, that is the way it will stay.
Which of course brings us to dystopias in which genetic manipulation creates monsters. Now, you would not be surprised if I were to say that I do not believe in monsters – monsters are imaginings people conjure up to depict something that they fear or hate (which often comes from fear – “Fear is the Mind-Killer” is more true than we may realize…). With one exception: the things that human beings do to each other and to other living things out of this fear can be monstrous.
It is not up to me to preach to anyone here. I am no better – though perhaps not worse – than any of us. This is a major appeal to me of Yudhanjaya’s discourse on Risk Bushido. It describes the core approach to existence of educated practitioners. It doesn’t create a Utopia. It is not impossible that over time it could influence the World for the better – but also likely it could influence it for the worse. It elevates people’s understanding of the consequences of their actions. I sometimes hope this could improve the world. I have less confidence in institutions.
Benedictines are after all not that much different. It is a long term approach, but of a different type.